Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Venting: Expat Holiday Frustrations

There is a saying in Arabic that encapsulates all the frustration that I am feeling right now: "the winds blow contrary to what the ships are wishing for."

The new year infused me with so much enthusiasm, and I have been trying to maintain the energy that I magically acquired on the 1st of January.  Unfortunately, it has not been easy. I wrote my New Year Resolutions on my D.Y.I blackboard and hung them somewhere where I can see them everyday. But my insomnia has been a major obstacle towards the achievement of my "new" goals. It has been very hard for me to wake up early. I know I am still on a break until the 28th, and that I probably should give myself some slack, but I won't. I did not leave my country and my family to sleep until 11 AM and not do anything productive. I am here to make the most of my time, and to achieve as much as I can academically (and otherwise). I have to constantly remind myself that the reason I left home in the first place was because home was making me too lethargic. My insomnia is definitely not caused by forces outside my control. I can work on that. I will work on that.

What is outside my control, however, is this freezing cold and the awful transportation system in this town. The university buses are on a break too. Only the city buses are running. Yesterday, I missed the bus to campus and had to wait 40 minutes in the cold. I was patient, and I kept telling myself that this is part of "the experience." Then, after campus, I decided to buy some socks from TJ Maxx because the laundry elf stole almost all of my socks and left me with only a couple of matching ones. The trip back home took exactly two hours. If I had a car, it wouldn't have taken more than 15 mns. If this town was walkable, I could have just walked back home.

Yesterday I was supposed to read the second chapter of Henri Lefebvre's The Production of Space. But I was too exhausted when I got back home, that all I did was make myself some hot and sour tofu soup and eat it in bed.

When I woke up at 11 today, a pile of dishes was awaiting me. So I cleaned everything, and came here to vent. Now I have a lot of reading to do.

Peace be upon you!

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